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Anti-racism protests in U.S. show signs of turning into anti-Trump protests

Anti-racism protests in U.S. show signs of turning into anti-Trump protests

Posted June. 04, 2020 07:46,   

Updated June. 04, 2020 07:46


U.S. President Donald Trump’s remark that he would deploy “heavily armed” military forces to quell protests against racism in the country is acting as a catalyst to intensify demonstrations with some signs that the protests against racism could turn into anti-Trump protests. The Pentagon has moved about 1,600 military troops into the Washington D.C. region and has them on alert.

Eight days into the nationwide protests on Tuesday (local time), streets and parks in major cities, including Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Denver were flooded with protesters from early in the morning. There were notably more protesters on the streets from the previous day. Most of them remained on the streets even after the curfew started. Police and Guard troops clashed with protesters, firing tear gas into the crowds to disperse protesters.

Trump’s remark has intensified protests particularly in Washington D.C. Protesters defied the 7 p.m. curfew, gathering in front of the White House and chanting “Vote him out.” Fenced barbed wires were set up around the Lafayette Square Park near the White House to block protesters from entering and helicopters flew above the park, making a threatening sound. Some 10 military vehicles carrying National Guard troops were seen outside the White House, patrolling the streets with police cars.

The Pentagon moved about 1,600 military troops from Fort Bragg and Fort Drum to the Washington D.C. area on Tuesday. The troops, which include military police and an infantry battalion, are on alert to respond to protests. About 2,800 National Guard troops have been deployed in Washington D.C. while some 20,000 have been deployed to 29 states across the country. The CNN reported that the deployed troops are almost the size of U.S. military forces dispatched to Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

In New York, hundreds of protesters remained in Times Square even after the 8 p.m. New York City curfew. The New York Times reported that police clashed with protesters in Upper West Side at around 9:20 p.m. and arrested some of them. Looting took place even in department stores and shops in Midtown, which is called the heart of New York City. Police helicopters flew above the downtown to observe protesters.

Most of the protests, however, were peaceful. Blacks, Whites, the elderly, and children participated in protests in major cities, such as Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Seattle, kneeling and holding their hands in the air in a show of protests.

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